There is nothing inherently cynical about marketing to cultural groups. Certain demographics require or have an interest in certain products for cultural reasons.It is also always based on market data (it would be a poor business move otherwise) and so there’s hard evidence that these products are popular amonga certain cultural demographic.
Plurawl are a clothing line based in New York. They produce Spanish T-shirts, hoodies in Spanish, and other clothing items targeted at the Hispanic community. This is an obvious example of marketing to a cultural group, but you can think of it another way – as serving the needs of a community.
However, marketing to specific culture groups is a task fraught with potential mistakes and few things to get right, especially if you yourself are not of that demographic. Moreover, for smaller ecommerce sites, the low numbers of staff (sometimes just one person) means that this is can often be the case. These dangers do not necessarily involve the risk of cultural insensitivity either; it could just be that you misunderstand the market and create an ultimatelyunsuccessful product or unappealing brand.
Data and Communication
A good rule of thumb when marketing toa specific cultural group is to make exhaustive use of what market data you have, but also to communicate with members of the group to see what the needs and wants of the community typically are. Sometimes, these two things can be one and the same. For example, much market data takes the form of information given by members of a community from consumer feedback.
Market data is alsoinformation about consumer purchases. Some cultural groups might be closely associated with one type of product, and this is the most obvious example. This is, however, unlikely to be helpful, simply because such niches are likely to be long since filled. Bear in mind also that much consumer data might be mute on the cultural background of the consumers. This is, in fact, fairly standard. Nevertheless, by paying attention to geography and, again, surveying the community, it’s what is popular amongcertain people.
Furthermore, if you are of the same cultural background that you are marketing to, then you might be able to identify a gap in the market. You can anyway accrue the information that allows you to settle on a brand.
Further Things to Consider
Obviously, the number of diverse and overlapping cultural groups out there means that there is much that you’ll need to work out yourself. Here follows some general things to get right:
We touched above on the importance of geography. If you’re targeting a specific cultural group, then the place they live is naturally where to go looking for customers. Campaigns can be located in the “heart of a community”. But what about online? These communities have locations online too – think Facebook pages, forums, even tags on social media pages.
If you’re marketing product with a specific Jewish cultural interest, then you would hope Hanukkah would be a busy time of year! That’s just one example, and it’s an obvious one that nevertheless demonstrates that seasonality can be determined by the cultural group you are targeting.
Cultural Differences and Sensitivities
This is naturally particularly important. Without giving any examples, you should take care that your marketing does not contain something unintentionally sensitive. Phrases, signs, and symbols can have quite different associations amongdifferent cultural groups. Ultimately, a good tip might be to simply focus on the benefits of the product.
Marketing to cultural groups is something that not every brand does specifically, but every brand should be aware of how it works.